Condition: Excellent

Antique Ivory Netsuke of Usofuki (Hyottoko) | Signed

Usofuki is a legendary character in Japan. Usofuki, also known as Hyottoko, was a boy named Hyoutokusu from which the character’s name originated. Hyottoko made strange clown faces and was said to create gold out of his belly button.

Some Usofuki have different sized eyes, but most have one eye closed and one open. A scarf is typically pulled over his head. Usofuki appeared in traditional dance during the Edo period, and today where festival participants dress up in the role of a clown. This piece is signed, but unidentified, in excellent condition, with natural patina. Age: Late Meiji (approximately early 1900s). Dimensions: 1-1/8”w x 1 ½”h x 5/8”d

NOTE: Thanks to preservation efforts, animal ivory and other endangered materials (e.g. tortoise shell, coral, rare woods), are conservatively used today, if not banned altogether. However, we recognize that these materials have been important since ancient times in the use of a wide range of religious, functional, and decorative items. We only feature pre-banned ivory and other rare materials because, while we support conservation, we also feel that the experience and appreciation of historical artifacts should be preserved as well. Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to purchase if they intend to import this piece into another country.

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